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Sunday, 22 March 2009

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Rubella vaccination probe:

WHO team arrive today

Two World Health Organisation vaccine experts from the WHO regional office, New Delhi, Dr. Suchard Geheart and Dr. Madhav will arrive in Colombo this afternoon on the request made by Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva who is also the Chairman, WHO to make their own investigation into the death of Hansini, Healthcare, Nutrition and Uva Wellassa Development Ministry Secretary Dr. Kahandaliyanage said.

The reports and findings of a full scale investigation ordered by President Mahinda Rajapaksa with experts called in, to go into the cause of death of the year 8 school girl, Peshala Hansini of Matara, who died after she was administered a rubella vaccination by the public health personnel at Matara, would be handed over to the Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition Nimal Siripala de Silva by today, Ministry SecretaryDr. Athula Kahandaliyanage told the Sunday Observer yesterday (21).

The team of local doctors headed by Deputy Director General, Public Health, Ministry of Healthcare and Nutrition, Dr. Palitha Mahipala and specialists from the Ministry’s Epidemiology Unit had completed their investigations and were preparing their report to be handed over to the minister yesterday, he noted.

He also said that the date of expiry of the rubella vaccine administered to Hansini was November 2009, contrary to claims made by certain elements that the vaccine was outdated. The condition of the 26 other children who had become sick after being given the vaccine at Matara was now improving including the two children whose condition was reported to be serious.

Asked about the letter sent by the mother of Hansini to be handed over to the team of medical personnel who administered the rubella vaccine he did not wish to comment on it since the investigation report was not out yet.

Stern action would be taken against anyone who was found to have been careless or had not performed their duties in accordance with the required standards of administration of vaccine.

It was a very serious matter and incidents of this nature should be avoided. The investigation was impartial and transparent, Dr. Kahandaliyanage said.

 

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